sorcerer problems with free heightening and a possible solution


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Currently a sorcerer has 6 options to cast for every spell level, a wizard has 4.

If you could spontaneously heighten every spell they would have up to (4 x spell levels) options for each level if every spell had an option for each level

At level 10 with 5th level spells that's 20 options for each spell level, not so close to the 6 or 4 currently

Getting free heightens makes spells with multiple options way more useful as spells known than spells with just one effect. That's impossible to balance.

A good option would be able to select a set choice of themed spells that would be castable at all levels in exchange for spells known. You would get more spells in exchange for the freedom of taking the best most versatile spells.

For example:

Theme mastery:
trade a spell known at each level and one spontaneous heighten to learn the following spells at each level they are able to be cast.

Fire:
Burning hands
Fireball
Wall of fire
Delayed fireball
Snap dragon fire works
Some niche spells...

Illusion:
Minor image
Major image
Phantasmal terrain
Mirror image
Some niche spell...

Arcane
Magic missile
Dispel magic
Some niche spells..

Silver Crusade

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

That's the point of lineage spells.


Franz Lunzer wrote:
That's the point of lineage spells.

I thought that's what turned into spontaneous heightening.

Do you have any information on lineage spells?

If it's by individual spell instead of a group of spells you still run into the problem of spells with multiple levels being more valuable to know.

Silver Crusade

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

That's exactly the thing:

Lineage spells for the sorcerer are expected to be summon or heal and not invisibility, as those are the ones that have many heightened versions.

I can't find the reference anymore... maybe that really is spontaneous heighten?

Liberty's Edge

Franz Lunzer wrote:
I can't find the reference anymore... maybe that really is spontaneous heighten?

It is.

Silver Crusade

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Why did I distinctly remember it being called lineage spells then...

So, yeah, spontaneous heightening is built around the assumption that you take it for spells that have many levels to gain the most use of it.

Liberty's Edge

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Franz Lunzer wrote:
Why did I distinctly remember it being called lineage spells then...

Mark Seifter used that to refer to the concept without giving it its' proper name in a Twitch stream. But it was never the official term.


I think you are thinking of bloodline spells. These are bonus spells known at each level that are in line with the bloodline.

He said they looked at spontaneous heightening on these, but the results varied wildly from Bloodline to Bloodline, making some Bloodlines extremely powerful while others hardly benefitted at all. That would have been an elegant Fluff solution, but mechanically very poor as it would have meant that a few bloodlines would be the go-to bloodlines, while the rest would be largely ignored.

The current solution is better, though I am concerned that the same few spells would be picked (e.g. Dispel Magic and Summon for Arcanes, Heal and Cure for Divine).

What I can see happening is that the sorcerer is going to become the king of Dispel, Wizards would have to use a top level slot to remain competitive and I can't see them wanting to do that; Sorcerers just give up a low level slot and then spontaneously heighten.

Personally, I like multi-classing so (assuming they have fixed the problems with casters who multi-class falling behind the curve), I might just pick up something that's useful for spell levels 1-4 such as fly, and rely on cantrips like shield and mage armor. Not sure what I'd use for my second spontaneous heighten - possibly Invisibility if Vanish is Invisibility(1). I'll see what's available.


I don't think mage armor is a cantrip. And do we have any reason to think fly comes online before level 3? I guess levitate could have become part of that chain, but that's a 2nd level spell anyway.

Liberty's Edge

Captain Morgan wrote:
I don't think mage armor is a cantrip. And do we have any reason to think fly comes online before level 3? I guess levitate could have become part of that chain, but that's a 2nd level spell anyway.

I believe they've noted that Feather Fall is now level 1 Fly with Levitate at level 2.

And yeah, Mage Armor is not a cantrip, it's been mentioned as a 1st level spell (with higher level versions), I believe.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I don't think mage armor is a cantrip. And do we have any reason to think fly comes online before level 3? I guess levitate could have become part of that chain, but that's a 2nd level spell anyway.

I believe they've noted that Feather Fall is now level 1 Fly with Levitate at level 2.

And yeah, Mage Armor is not a cantrip, it's been mentioned as a 1st level spell (with higher level versions), I believe.

Yeah, they said it could potentially scale with potency runes if you didn't mind spending your highest level slot on it, right?

Good to know on the fly spell. (Can you point me to that one? Not that I doubt you, but I've been trying hard to read all the dev posts. No problem if not, the search function is borked.) So it follows a similar progression as the Flight Hex the witch had. Honestly that feels a little funky, because feather fall feels like a pretty distinct spell. I wonder how that intersects action wise. A spell that can be cast as a reaction scaling into a spell that costs actions is... interesting.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


And yeah, Mage Armor is not a cantrip, it's been mentioned as a 1st level spell (with higher level versions), I believe.

Ok, I may have misread something. I know it scales to become viable, and I read about it alongside shield which is cantrip, so maybe I made an assumption without looking at it too closely.

In that case I may just go with Bracers, which do the same thing but cost money (and resonance). I'll see what else is vying for the top spell slots.

Liberty's Edge

Captain Morgan wrote:
Can you point me to that one? Not that I doubt you, but I've been trying hard to read all the dev posts. No problem if not, the search function is borked.

Yeah, I have no memory of where that even came up. Maybe it never even did and I'm just basing that on Starfinder (where Feather Fall is level 1 Fly). I think I saw it specifically said for PF2, but upon reflection I'm not even positive.

It's probably true, though, given that they did it that way in Starfinder and there's little reason not to go the same route.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Can you point me to that one? Not that I doubt you, but I've been trying hard to read all the dev posts. No problem if not, the search function is borked.

Yeah, I have no memory of where that even came up. Maybe it never even did and I'm just basing that on Starfinder (where Feather Fall is level 1 Fly). I think I saw it specifically said for PF2, but upon reflection I'm not even positive.

It's probably true, though, given that they did it that way in Starfinder and there's little reason not to go the same route.

I remember reading the same, but I can't be certain it wasn't someone speculating. It seems a reasonable speculation.


I fear Mark is right about automatic heightening of all spells (or even a significant number of them) being broken. Especially considering it makes the Sorcerer spell-list branch out excessively in the middle (where there are ostensibly the most heightenable spells).

My solution will be to apply OAs Undercasting rules to all heightenable spells, in addition to the Sorcerer's Spontaneous Heightening feature. Doing so will still multiply their spells known, but they'll only be gaining the lower level versions of their best spells for 'free' instead of the highest level versions, so I more okay with that comprimise if it means the class actually makes sense to me.


Cantriped wrote:

I fear Mark is right about automatic heightening of all spells (or even a significant number of them) being broken. Especially considering it makes the Sorcerer spell-list branch out excessively in the middle (where there are ostensibly the most heightenable spells).

My solution will be to apply OAs Undercasting rules to all heightenable spells, in addition to the Sorcerer's Spontaneous Heightening feature. Doing so will still multiply their spells known, but they'll only be gaining the lower level versions of their best spells for 'free' instead of the highest level versions, so I more okay with that comprimise if it means the class actually makes sense to me.

Free under casting still has the problem of spells with under casting options being way more valuable than spells without as spells known. So that makes them very unbalanced as choices.


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What's this talk about sorcerers having 6 options per spell level?

Sorcerers learn the same number of spells as wizards and have the same number of casts per day, but wizards can freely heighten any of their spells when they prepare them, and sorcerers can only heighten 2 per day, but spontaneously cast all of their spells. The main issue here is that wizards can write more spells into their spellbook, while sorcerers can't learn extra spells without dumping older spells. There is also the issue that a wizard gets to pick ALL of his spells, but the sorcerer has 1/4th of his spells picked for him, such that if you don't like one or two of your bloodline spells, you have effectively wasted those spells known slots.

Effectively, when a wizard learns a spell, he learns it for all levels he can cast it at, but a sorcerer only learns it for the one level they learn it at, unless they pick it to be one of their two heighten-able spells for the day.

This means that the wizard knows MANY more spells than the sorcerer.

If PF1 is any indication, the versatility of having more spells known is MUCH more powerful than being able to cast them spontaneously, even when the sorcerer could cast MORE spells per day. Therefore, the wizard is MUCH more powerful than the sorcerer, AGAIN.

I also don't buy the analysis paralysis excuse. Wizards and Clerics have always had excessive numbers of options when preparing spells and, with the exception of one person that I GM'd for, nobody has ever had an issue taking forever to prepare spells. (For the record, this guy also took forever to cast his prepared spells too, until I instituted a 6 second decision time limit. He literally wanted to calculate all of his options every turn to find the optimal solution, while everyone else just sat there and waited for him.)

As for being able to spontaneously heighten all spells being too powerful, that could easily be fixed by having the sorcerer know fewer spells, then giving them more casts to compensate, if it even IS too powerful.

Liberty's Edge

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thflame wrote:
What's this talk about sorcerers having 6 options per spell level?

Well, a 10th level Sorcerer has 4 spells known at each spell level. She picks, say, Summon Monster and Heal from her 1st level spells to be Heightened today.

She now has 6 options for what spell to cast at every level except 1st. To the Wizard's maximum of 4.

Yes, the Wizard has more choices each day, but when it comes to 'What spell do I cast this round?' the Sorcerer has an edge.

thflame wrote:
There is also the issue that a wizard gets to pick ALL of his spells, but the sorcerer has 1/4th of his spells picked for him, such that if you don't like one or two of your bloodline spells, you have effectively wasted those spells known slots.

Actually, if he's a specialist he needs to pick one from his specialty school each level, so it's not quite as free as all that (and can result in losing spells just as you describe the Sorcerer doing, though possibly less often...hard to know without seeing the Bloodlines in front of us). If he's not a specialist, he only gets three choices, he just gets to re-use one of them.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
thflame wrote:
What's this talk about sorcerers having 6 options per spell level?

Well, a 10th level Sorcerer has 4 spells known at each spell level. She picks, say, Summon Monster and Heal from her 1st level spells to be Heightened today.

She now has 6 options for what spell to cast at every level except 1st.

By that logic the wizard likely has MANY more options per spell level when preparing spells.


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thflame wrote:


If PF1 is any indication, the versatility of having more spells known is MUCH more powerful than being able to cast them spontaneously, even when the sorcerer could cast MORE spells per day. Therefore, the wizard is MUCH more powerful than the sorcerer, AGAIN.

No, it doesn't. The fact that you know a spell as a wizard doesn't mean diddly unless you've prepared it, unless you have 10 minutes spare (if you've the right feat), or 15 min and an empty spell slot. Once combat starts, you won't get that.

The sorcerer, however, can cast every spell he knows. Just like that.

Liberty's Edge

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thflame wrote:
By that logic the wizard likely has MANY more options per spell level when preparing spells.

When preparing? Yes, he has lots more. This specific round? He has less.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

A wizard prepares four spells per spell level. A sorcerer knows four spells per spell level. A sorcerer might also have two more spell options at that level from her heightened spells. So, the sorcerer casts spontaneously from 4-6 spells per level.

A wizard with foreknowledge and time to prepare can probably choose a better spell than the sorcerer. But, surprised or without that extra time, the sorcerer has more options to choose from.

Edit: C-c-c-combo ninja'd


Deadmanwalking wrote:
thflame wrote:
There is also the issue that a wizard gets to pick ALL of his spells, but the sorcerer has 1/4th of his spells picked for him, such that if you don't like one or two of your bloodline spells, you have effectively wasted those spells known slots.
Actually, if he's a specialist he needs to pick one from his specialty school each level, so it's not quite as free as all that (and can result in losing spells just as you describe the Sorcerer doing, though possibly less often...hard to know without seeing the Bloodlines in front of us). If he's not a specialist, he only gets three choices, he just gets to re-use one of them.

You aren't going to pick a specialist school unless you want a spell of that school at every level.

When it comes to bloodlines, the options are finite, and the chances that you like EVERY spell your bloodline comes with is VERY unlikely.

If Bloodlines worked similarly to Schools (let's say you pick a Descriptor instead of a School) then it would be comparable.

For example, I have a Fire Elemental as my bloodline, so I must pick a spell with the Fire Descriptor for each of my bloodline spells.

Liberty's Edge

thflame wrote:
You aren't going to pick a specialist school unless you want a spell of that school at every level.

This is not necessarily true in my experience. A lot of schools in PF1 have 'dead levels' where very few of the options are at all appealing, but are very good otherwise.

But yes, it will come up less often, I said as much.

thflame wrote:
When it comes to bloodlines, the options are finite, and the chances that you like EVERY spell your bloodline comes with is VERY unlikely.

I dunno, Demonic looks pretty solid, I'm gonna be honest.

thflame wrote:

If Bloodlines worked similarly to Schools (let's say you pick a Descriptor instead of a School) then it would be comparable.

For example, I have a Fire Elemental as my bloodline, so I must pick a spell with the Fire Descriptor for each of my bloodline spells.

This would make the issue less likely, yes. Doesn't change my basic point, though.


Gavmania wrote:
thflame wrote:


If PF1 is any indication, the versatility of having more spells known is MUCH more powerful than being able to cast them spontaneously, even when the sorcerer could cast MORE spells per day. Therefore, the wizard is MUCH more powerful than the sorcerer, AGAIN.

No, it doesn't. The fact that you know a spell as a wizard doesn't mean diddly unless you've prepared it, unless you have 10 minutes spare (if you've the right feat), or 15 min and an empty spell slot. Once combat starts, you won't get that.

The sorcerer, however, can cast every spell he knows. Just like that.

Doesn't matter if the spell you need isn't one you have learned at the appropriate level or picked as your heighten-able spell for the day.

Wizards have ALWAYS found ways around their prepared limitations.

Utility spells are generally not needed on a time sensitive basis, so preparing a utility spell on the fly is not an issue. If the sorcerer doesn't have the "right spell", he's just up a creek.

Liberty's Edge

thflame wrote:
If the sorcerer doesn't have the "right spell", he's just up a creek.

Unless, of course, he has a Scroll of the right spell. Or a staff that grants it. Or something else similar.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
thflame wrote:
If the sorcerer doesn't have the "right spell", he's just up a creek.
Unless, of course, he has a Scroll of the right spell. Or a staff that grants it. Or something else similar.

Same logic applies to the wizard.

And before you say, "but the sorcerer will have more Resonance for such things", keep in mind that given the way stats work in PF2, the wizard will likely have a decently high CHA score too. At most I suspect that a sorcerer will have 2 more Resonance than a wizard.


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I'm pretty content to give lineage spells/spontaneous heightening a shot as a sort of goldilocks solution between "undercasting" always eating your highest level spells known, and "can automatically heighten everything" leading to a cascade of options and/or strongly disincentivizing spells without much in the way of heightening.

I'm not going to say that they've arrived at the best solution, but they've tried a bunch of them and this approach might have the fewest problems.

Paizo Employee Designer

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thflame wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
thflame wrote:
If the sorcerer doesn't have the "right spell", he's just up a creek.
Unless, of course, he has a Scroll of the right spell. Or a staff that grants it. Or something else similar.

Same logic applies to the wizard.

And before you say, "but the sorcerer will have more Resonance for such things", keep in mind that given the way stats work in PF2, the wizard will likely have a decently high CHA score too. At most I suspect that a sorcerer will have 2 more Resonance than a wizard.

I can speak to stat builds. The wizard build that does this, at the expense of Dex and Con, is certainly possible, and I might use something similar if building my Taldan noble wizard character in PF2, but it's definitely not something I've seen thus far.


thflame wrote:


Doesn't matter if the spell you need isn't one you have learned at the appropriate level or picked as your heighten-able spell for the day.

Wizards have ALWAYS found ways around their prepared limitations.

Utility spells are generally not needed on a time sensitive basis, so preparing a utility spell on the fly is not an issue. If the sorcerer doesn't have the "right spell", he's just up a creek.

And that's why wizards have always been king of utility spells, while sorcerers have been king of common combat spells.

If anything, the sorcerer has a huge advantage with the spells he picks for spontaneous heightening. Take for example dispel magic. If a wizard knows dispel magic, he has to decide whether to use up a top level slot to prepare it since he doesn't know if he'll meet a 10th level spell, a 7th level spell or no spell at all.
A sorcerer just needs to use a 1st level spell known, then spontaneously heighten. If he meets a 10th level spell, he uses a 10th level s!ot, if he finds a 7th level spell , he uses a 7th level slot, but if he doesn't come across any spells, he doesn't use any spells.
What's more, if he meets a 7th level spell, then a 10th level spell, that's no problem. If the wizard faces this, he will most likely use up his dispel magic on the first encounter, and then he's in trouble.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Gavmania wrote:
thflame wrote:


Doesn't matter if the spell you need isn't one you have learned at the appropriate level or picked as your heighten-able spell for the day.

Wizards have ALWAYS found ways around their prepared limitations.

Utility spells are generally not needed on a time sensitive basis, so preparing a utility spell on the fly is not an issue. If the sorcerer doesn't have the "right spell", he's just up a creek.

And that's why wizards have always been king of utility spells, while sorcerers have been king of common combat spells.

If anything, the sorcerer has a huge advantage with the spells he picks for spontaneous heightening. Take for example dispel magic. If a wizard knows dispel magic, he has to decide whether to use up a top level slot to prepare it since he doesn't know if he'll meet a 10th level spell, a 7th level spell or no spell at all.
A sorcerer just needs to use a 1st level spell known, then spontaneously heighten. If he meets a 10th level spell, he uses a 10th level s!ot, if he finds a 7th level spell , he uses a 7th level slot, but if he doesn't come across any spells, he doesn't use any spells.
What's more, if he meets a 7th level spell, then a 10th level spell, that's no problem. If the wizard faces this, he will most likely use up his dispel magic on the first encounter, and then he's in trouble.

It is very easy to undervalue just how good this kind of effect is until you see it in play. Amusingly, I'm in a chat right now as I type this with a friend (major wizard player in PF1) who is quite convinced that sorcerers now have the advantage over wizards. I think either they're roughly balanced or he's right, personally, but we'll find out in the playtest!


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Mark Seifter wrote:
thflame wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
thflame wrote:
If the sorcerer doesn't have the "right spell", he's just up a creek.
Unless, of course, he has a Scroll of the right spell. Or a staff that grants it. Or something else similar.

Same logic applies to the wizard.

And before you say, "but the sorcerer will have more Resonance for such things", keep in mind that given the way stats work in PF2, the wizard will likely have a decently high CHA score too. At most I suspect that a sorcerer will have 2 more Resonance than a wizard.

I can speak to stat builds. The wizard build that does this, at the expense of Dex and Con, is certainly possible, and I might use something similar if building my Taldan noble wizard character in PF2, but it's definitely not something I've seen thus far.

I imagine that wizards will pick INT, DEX, CON, and CHA for each of their stat increases. Wisdom is useful for perception, but since your initiative is based on whatever you are doing, the wizard could just chose to stealth so that he can use DEX instead of WIS.

Strength is likely wholly unnecessary for Wizards.

Let's assume a human wizard.

For his Ancestry, he grabs +2 to INT and DEX.

For his Background, he grabs +2 to INT and DEX again.

For his Class, he gets +2 INT (I assume)

For his first level reinforcement, he grabs +2 INT, DEX, CON, and CHA.

This gives him initial stats of
STR: 10
DEX: 16
CON: 12
INT: 18
WIS: 10
CHA: 12

For the Sorcerer, let's assume he does something similar, but swaps INT and CHA (he wants some extra skills).

At level 1, the Sorcerer has 3 more Resonance than the Wizard.

At level 5, this gap closes to 2, as the CHA reinforcement for the Wizard nets him +1 modifier, but the sorcerer goes from 18 to 19, granting him no change in modifier.

At level 10, the gap remains the same. (Both increases net a new modifier)

At level 15, the gap closes to 1. (See level 5)

At level 20, the gap remains the same.

The wizard hasn't sacrificed any CON, DEX, or INT for CHA, and the Sorcerer has bumped CHA as much as possible.

Now, the Sorcerer can get a +2 CHA item, but so can the Wizard (unless you are only allowed one Stat boosting item in PF2.)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Gavmania wrote:
thflame wrote:


Doesn't matter if the spell you need isn't one you have learned at the appropriate level or picked as your heighten-able spell for the day.

Wizards have ALWAYS found ways around their prepared limitations.

Utility spells are generally not needed on a time sensitive basis, so preparing a utility spell on the fly is not an issue. If the sorcerer doesn't have the "right spell", he's just up a creek.

And that's why wizards have always been king of utility spells, while sorcerers have been king of common combat spells.

If anything, the sorcerer has a huge advantage with the spells he picks for spontaneous heightening. Take for example dispel magic. If a wizard knows dispel magic, he has to decide whether to use up a top level slot to prepare it since he doesn't know if he'll meet a 10th level spell, a 7th level spell or no spell at all.
A sorcerer just needs to use a 1st level spell known, then spontaneously heighten. If he meets a 10th level spell, he uses a 10th level s!ot, if he finds a 7th level spell , he uses a 7th level slot, but if he doesn't come across any spells, he doesn't use any spells.
What's more, if he meets a 7th level spell, then a 10th level spell, that's no problem. If the wizard faces this, he will most likely use up his dispel magic on the first encounter, and then he's in trouble.

It is very easy to undervalue just how good this kind of effect is until you see it in play. Amusingly, I'm in a chat right now as I type this with a friend (major wizard player in PF1) who is quite convinced that sorcerers now have the advantage over wizards. I think either they're roughly balanced or he's right, personally, but we'll find out in the playtest!

I have a feeling that being able to choose your heightened spells each day is a bit too powerful and that choosing them each level might be enough. We'll see indeed


thflame wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
thflame wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
thflame wrote:
If the sorcerer doesn't have the "right spell", he's just up a creek.
Unless, of course, he has a Scroll of the right spell. Or a staff that grants it. Or something else similar.

Same logic applies to the wizard.

And before you say, "but the sorcerer will have more Resonance for such things", keep in mind that given the way stats work in PF2, the wizard will likely have a decently high CHA score too. At most I suspect that a sorcerer will have 2 more Resonance than a wizard.

I can speak to stat builds. The wizard build that does this, at the expense of Dex and Con, is certainly possible, and I might use something similar if building my Taldan noble wizard character in PF2, but it's definitely not something I've seen thus far.

I imagine that wizards will pick INT, DEX, CON, and CHA for each of their stat increases. Wisdom is useful for perception, but since your initiative is based on whatever you are doing, the wizard could just chose to stealth so that he can use DEX instead of WIS.

Strength is likely wholly unnecessary for Wizards.

Let's assume a human wizard.

For his Ancestry, he grabs +2 to INT and DEX.

For his Background, he grabs +2 to INT and DEX again.

For his Class, he gets +2 INT (I assume)

For his first level reinforcement, he grabs +2 INT, DEX, CON, and CHA.

This gives him initial stats of
STR: 10
DEX: 16
CON: 12
INT: 18
WIS: 10
CHA: 12

For the Sorcerer, let's assume he does something similar, but swaps INT and CHA (he wants some extra skills).

At level 1, the Sorcerer has 3 more Resonance than the Wizard.

At level 5, this gap closes to 2, as the CHA reinforcement for the Wizard nets him +1 modifier, but the sorcerer goes from 18 to 19, granting him no change in modifier.

At level 10, the gap remains the same. (Both increases net a new modifier)

At level 15, the gap closes to 1. (See level 5)

At level 20,...

I'm confused. Why does the wizards cha go up by 2 at level 5 and level 15, while the sorcerer goes up by 1?

Dark Archive

Mark Seifter wrote:
Gavmania wrote:
thflame wrote:


Doesn't matter if the spell you need isn't one you have learned at the appropriate level or picked as your heighten-able spell for the day.

Wizards have ALWAYS found ways around their prepared limitations.

Utility spells are generally not needed on a time sensitive basis, so preparing a utility spell on the fly is not an issue. If the sorcerer doesn't have the "right spell", he's just up a creek.

And that's why wizards have always been king of utility spells, while sorcerers have been king of common combat spells.

If anything, the sorcerer has a huge advantage with the spells he picks for spontaneous heightening. Take for example dispel magic. If a wizard knows dispel magic, he has to decide whether to use up a top level slot to prepare it since he doesn't know if he'll meet a 10th level spell, a 7th level spell or no spell at all.
A sorcerer just needs to use a 1st level spell known, then spontaneously heighten. If he meets a 10th level spell, he uses a 10th level s!ot, if he finds a 7th level spell , he uses a 7th level slot, but if he doesn't come across any spells, he doesn't use any spells.
What's more, if he meets a 7th level spell, then a 10th level spell, that's no problem. If the wizard faces this, he will most likely use up his dispel magic on the first encounter, and then he's in trouble.

It is very easy to undervalue just how good this kind of effect is until you see it in play. Amusingly, I'm in a chat right now as I type this with a friend (major wizard player in PF1) who is quite convinced that sorcerers now have the advantage over wizards. I think either they're roughly balanced or he's right, personally, but we'll find out in the playtest!

Without seeing the playlets yet I am in agreement with your friend.


Gavmania wrote:
I'm confused. Why does the wizards cha go up by 2 at level 5 and level 15, while the sorcerer goes up by 1?

I believe the predominant theory is that mid-career stat increases work like they did in Starfinder, where enhancing an attribute adds 2 if the stat in question is 16 or below, and adds 1 otherwise.


thflame wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
thflame wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
thflame wrote:
If the sorcerer doesn't have the "right spell", he's just up a creek.
Unless, of course, he has a Scroll of the right spell. Or a staff that grants it. Or something else similar.

Same logic applies to the wizard.

And before you say, "but the sorcerer will have more Resonance for such things", keep in mind that given the way stats work in PF2, the wizard will likely have a decently high CHA score too. At most I suspect that a sorcerer will have 2 more Resonance than a wizard.

I can speak to stat builds. The wizard build that does this, at the expense of Dex and Con, is certainly possible, and I might use something similar if building my Taldan noble wizard character in PF2, but it's definitely not something I've seen thus far.

I imagine that wizards will pick INT, DEX, CON, and CHA for each of their stat increases. Wisdom is useful for perception, but since your initiative is based on whatever you are doing, the wizard could just chose to stealth so that he can use DEX instead of WIS.

Strength is likely wholly unnecessary for Wizards.

Let's assume a human wizard.

For his Ancestry, he grabs +2 to INT and DEX.

For his Background, he grabs +2 to INT and DEX again.

For his Class, he gets +2 INT (I assume)

For his first level reinforcement, he grabs +2 INT, DEX, CON, and CHA.

This gives him initial stats of
STR: 10
DEX: 16
CON: 12
INT: 18
WIS: 10
CHA: 12

For the Sorcerer, let's assume he does something similar, but swaps INT and CHA (he wants some extra skills).

At level 1, the Sorcerer has 3 more Resonance than the Wizard.

At level 5, this gap closes to 2, as the CHA reinforcement for the Wizard nets him +1 modifier, but the sorcerer goes from 18 to 19, granting him no change in modifier.

At level 10, the gap remains the same. (Both increases net a new modifier)

At level 15, the gap closes to 1. (See level 5)

At level 20,...

And then your wizard gets dominated, as he did the pf2 equivalent of tanking his wis for cha. That 10-15% at 1, up to 20-25% at 20 shift in successes vs failures hurts.


The Raven Black wrote:


I have a feeling that being able to choose your heightened spells each day is a bit too powerful and that choosing them each level might be enough. We'll see indeed

You have to remember that to get the most out of spontaneous heightening, you have to choose a 1st level spell that can be heightened to every spell level. We know if only 2 from the arcane list (dispel and summon, and we don't know for certain there's a summon (10)). There may be others, but it's unlikely.

So in practice, those are the 2 spells you will pick, and you are unlikely to change them except possibly in downtime, if there is a heightenable utility spell you could use. Without knowing what you are going to meet, you would be unlikely to have as a spell known a spell that is of circumstantial use, and so be able to heighten it to usefulness if you know you are going to meet that circumstance.

Paizo Employee Designer

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thflame wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
thflame wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
thflame wrote:
If the sorcerer doesn't have the "right spell", he's just up a creek.
Unless, of course, he has a Scroll of the right spell. Or a staff that grants it. Or something else similar.

Same logic applies to the wizard.

And before you say, "but the sorcerer will have more Resonance for such things", keep in mind that given the way stats work in PF2, the wizard will likely have a decently high CHA score too. At most I suspect that a sorcerer will have 2 more Resonance than a wizard.

I can speak to stat builds. The wizard build that does this, at the expense of Dex and Con, is certainly possible, and I might use something similar if building my Taldan noble wizard character in PF2, but it's definitely not something I've seen thus far.

I imagine that wizards will pick INT, DEX, CON, and CHA for each of their stat increases. Wisdom is useful for perception, but since your initiative is based on whatever you are doing, the wizard could just chose to stealth so that he can use DEX instead of WIS.

Strength is likely wholly unnecessary for Wizards.

Let's assume a human wizard.

For his Ancestry, he grabs +2 to INT and DEX.

For his Background, he grabs +2 to INT and DEX again.

For his Class, he gets +2 INT (I assume)

For his first level reinforcement, he grabs +2 INT, DEX, CON, and CHA.

This gives him initial stats of
STR: 10
DEX: 16
CON: 12
INT: 18
WIS: 10
CHA: 12

For the Sorcerer, let's assume he does something similar, but swaps INT and CHA (he wants some extra skills).

At level 1, the Sorcerer has 3 more Resonance than the Wizard.

At level 5, this gap closes to 2, as the CHA reinforcement for the Wizard nets him +1 modifier, but the sorcerer goes from 18 to 19, granting him no change in modifier.

At level 10, the gap remains the same. (Both increases net a new modifier)

At level 15, the gap closes to 1. (See level 5)

At level 20,...

At level 20, the gap grows to 2 again, actually (wizard's 18 would just go to 19 and sorcerer's 21 before item goes to 22). As to potent items, even if there's no limit on those, you'd pay a resonance for the item to get one. You also are going to probably want to rotate out one of Dex, Con, and Cha not to raise at each of 10, 15, 20 so that you don't run into a situation where you have to raise a 18 to a 19 or a 20 to a 21 at level 20. Assuming I prefer to rotate out Cha first and Dex last and keep Dex maxed, you wind up with something like this (depending on potent item timing, I've chosen level 15 to account for potent items here).

level 1: Sorc +3
level 5: Sorc +2
level 10: Sorc +3
level 15: Sorc +3 (or 2 if multi-potent items are allowed and the wizard spends a resonance to gain one)
level 20: Sorc +3 (or 2 if multi-potent items are allowed and the wizard spends a resonance to gain one)

If you prioritize Cha over Con in the rotation, you instead see

level 1: Sorc +3
level 5: Sorc +2
level 10: Sorc +2
level 15: Sorc +3 (or 2 if multi-potent items are allowed and the wizard spends a resonance to gain one)
level 20: Sorc +3 (or 2 if multi-potent items are allowed and the wizard spends a resonance to gain one)

Your Wisdom can eventually be a bit better than willuwontu predicts because you raise it at each of 10, 15, 20 instead of whichever is out of rotation, but it's still pretty low.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Your Wisdom can eventually be a bit better than willuwontu predicts because you raise it at each of 10, 15, 20 instead of whichever is out of rotation, but it's still pretty low.

But what if the game goes to level 25 and I get another set of boosts :P

Seriously though, fair point, I forgot about that.

On a side note have you seen anyone build or play (or thought of) what I lovingly refer to as the dire commoner stat build (18's across the board at 20).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I must have missed the discussion of (multi-)potent items... what are those?


From the context of Mark's post, a potent item gives an ability boost. So, multi-potent would be an item that boosts multiple scores or allowing multiple such items. The wizard will naturally prefer Int boosts, and only have a Cha boosting item if allowed to boost more than one score with items.


First World Bard wrote:
I must have missed the discussion of (multi-)potent items... what are those?

I would infer that they are stat boost items.

Edit: Ninja'd


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For the purpose of this write up, I'm going to ignore a CHA boosting item, as it doesn't do anything for Resonance (it costs a point to gain a point)

Wizards
Level 1: 12 CHA, +1
Level 5: 14 CHA, +2
Level 10: 16 CHA, +3
Level 15: 18 CHA, +4
Level 20: 18 CHA, +4 (Probably won't spend a point because it won't help)

Sorcerer:
Level 1: 18 CHA, +4
Level 5: 19 CHA, +4
Level 10: 20 CHA, +5
Level 15: 21 CHA, +5
Level 20: 22 CHA, +6

This makes the split
Level 1: +3
Level 5: +2
Level 10: +2
Level 15: +2
Level 20: +2

Now, the Sorcerer's preferred stat boosting item is effectively "free" as far as Resonance is concerned, so that would grant the Sorcerer 1 "extra" Resonance over the wizard, but...

Is 3 extra uses of scrolls/staves/wands per day REALLY going to make up for the discrepancy in spells known?

The wizard is learning EVERY SINGLE level of a spell when he learns it for the first time.

The sorcerer get's that luxury TWICE. While he CAN change these out every day, his spell list will likely not be built to support more than 2 spells.

Scenario 1: The Sorcerer picks his spells with the intent to auto heighten 2 of them, leading him to learn other spells multiple times to have them at the slots he wants them.

Scenario 2: The Sorcerer picks his spells such that he can benefit from freely swapping out his heightened spells, but learns a few alternate versions of all of his applicable spells for the days he doesn't pick those to be heightened, as a means to stay versatile. This means a few of his known slots are always wasted, because he likely heightens a spell he knows 2+ times each day.

Scenario 3: The sorcerer never learns a spell twice, allowing him to gain the full benefit of swapping out his heightened spells each day, but when he needs one of his non-heightened spells at a level he did not learn it, he is SOL.

Now, compare this to a wizard.

Scenario 1: The wizard prepares about half his slots, all for instances he perceives he will need in a timely fashion, then spends 15 minutes every time he needs a specific spell.

Scenario 2: The wizard just prepares his full list, perhaps using scrying spells the night before to help him more accurately prepare his list, and falls back on scrolls that he can make from his nearly unlimited selection of spells from his spellbook. (At the GM's discretion, of course.)

In short, every time a sorcerer learns a spell more than once, he effectively loses a spell known slot over the wizard.

At this point, why not just take those spells known from the sorcerer to begin with, and let him heighten all of his spells freely?


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I'm just speaking from my experience here, but smart Wizards tend not to have a problem with preparing the wrong spells.

Now many people that play Wizards aren't 'that' optimal, but most aren't bumbling idiots either. People learn quickly.

So, assuming optimization, here's what I've noticed in the First Pathfinder Edition.

Wizards don't prepare all their spells at the start of the day.

They prepare their 'all-day buffs', enough spells to get them through their first expected combat, and a little something extra in case of emergency.

You may think that you cannot accurately predict which spells you need in the first combat but that's not so. I'm not saying you can prepare perfectly, but adequately enough to only need your emergency spells for that surprise.

Most dungeons or adventures paths have a theme. So if you're playing in one you usually know whats coming and can prepare adequately.

Furthermore, most Wizards have access to either Divination magic or a scout of some kind. This means that they can usually prepare 'exactly' what they need if they are the one attacking.
In an ambush Wizards a toast unless they prepared an appropriate amount of 'emergency' spells.

A Wizard who is prepared can find the perfect spell to solve most problems.
A Sorcerer, on the other hand, prepared himself to find ways to solve problems using his perfected spells.

Liberty's Edge

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thflame wrote:
For the purpose of this write up, I'm going to ignore a CHA boosting item, as it doesn't do anything for Resonance (it costs a point to gain a point)

You can ignore the Cha item for Resonance, it's true. Of course, the Sorcerer will have it and it will up her Save DC, so if the Wizard wants to keep up on Save DC (and he does) you need to count his Int-boosting Item...which costs Resonance and is something the Sorcerer effectively doesn't need (her Cha boosting item, as noted, breaks even).

So you still need to count that as a win (and +1 Resonance) for the Sorcerer around 15th level...which bumps the difference back to +3 as Mark indicates.


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I'll second Lockewood.

The wizard may not have the "perfect" list of prepared spells each day, but he will 99% of the time have an adequate list prepared.

The sorcerer, on the other hand, has to sacrifice a bunch of his character options to even come close to that level of preparedness. The only way he ever has the "perfect" combination of spells is when the GM throws him a bone.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
thflame wrote:
For the purpose of this write up, I'm going to ignore a CHA boosting item, as it doesn't do anything for Resonance (it costs a point to gain a point)

You can ignore the Cha item for Resonance, it's true. Of course, the Sorcerer will have it and it will up her Save DC, so if the Wizard wants to keep up on Save DC (and he does) you need to count his Int-boosting Item...which costs Resonance and is something the Sorcerer effectively doesn't need (her Cha boosting item, as noted, breaks even).

So you still need to count that as a win (and +1 Resonance) for the Sorcerer around 15th level...which bumps the difference back to +3 as Mark indicates.

You couldn't finish reading my post before you commented, could you?

Quote:
Now, the Sorcerer's preferred stat boosting item is effectively "free" as far as Resonance is concerned, so that would grant the Sorcerer 1 "extra" Resonance over the wizard, but...


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thflame wrote:

I'll second Lockewood.

The wizard may not have the "perfect" list of prepared spells each day, but he will 99% of the time have an adequate list prepared.

The sorcerer, on the other hand, has to sacrifice a bunch of his character options to even come close to that level of preparedness. The only way he ever has the "perfect" combination of spells is when the GM throws him a bone.

Well... The Sorcerer isn't completely helpless in the first edition. I would even go so far as to say he's stronger than the Wizard in certain situations. Even without factoring in stuff like Paragon Surge.

Sorcerer's tended to pick very versatile spells like Shadow Conjuration/Evocation or very potent spells like Battering Blast and Dominate Person.
Unlike the Wizard, the Sorcerer would then build upon those few spells until they could solve any problem using their small list of specialized tools. Quality over quantity.

Liberty's Edge

thflame wrote:
You couldn't finish reading my post before you commented, could you?

You left it out of the table (making your table highly misleading) and I thus missed it. Whoops, my bad.

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